Sunday, September 5, 2010

US Veterans getting better compensation for Agent Orange exposure
Saturday, 04 September 2010 13:03
by Stephen Pate

The Royal Canadian Legion has become concerned about the budget allocated for Agent Orange compensation.

Letter to the Editor, Daily Gleaner – It would seem that the allocated funds, which have not all been spent through the ex-gratia payments made by the federal government as compensation for exposure to the chemical, will lapse with no benefits for veterans.

The legion was at the forefront in advocating for this compensation and applauded the federal government for its initiative on this issue.

But it was concerned on two fronts – the period of eligibility was much too restrictive, and the criteria to allocate these payments was much broader than the test applied to compensate veterans through the disability benefit system where the cause must be proven rather than inferred.

Regardless of our concerns on these issues, we considered this a good first step.

But we have lately reviewed our stance on this issue because the budget allocated was only partially spent, and that which is left over will not be used to fund benefits for veterans that can prove the damage caused by contact with this chemical.

In addition, the legion has since become aware that the United States Veterans Administration (USVA) is providing much broader disability benefits for veterans who were exposed to this chemical than Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC).


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